Matthew 5:23-24

How to Make an Effective Apology


Matthew 5:23-24 therefore if you are presenting your offering at the alter and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your offering there before the alter and go first be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your offering we’ve been talking about what to do when I’m offended but now we’re reversing it and talking about what do I do when somebody else is offended and I’m the cause I’m the person that offended somebody else Yeshua says here if you recognize you offended somebody even if you’re in the middle of worshiping God leave the alter leave the place of worship go and reconcile with your brother that’s how important it is and I find that most people don’t know how to repent most people don’t know effectively how to make an apology a lot of times people say if I was wrong when you say if it nullifies everything that comes after that because what that actually means is I don’t think I was wrong but I’ll be the godly mature one I’ll go the second mile I’ll apologize even when I don’t think I was wrong when you’re the one with the problem don’t say if because it nullifies everything else another thing people say sometimes is I want to apologize I want to ask you to forgive me it’s like ok I’m glad you want to go ahead and do it when you say I want to ask you to forgive me that’s not asking that’s saying you want to and many times we use language inadvertently that’s not effective my good friend Ford Taylor has a workshop that he runs called transformational leadership and in that workshop he talks about 6 steps to an effective apology and I just want to share those 6 steps with you they’re obviously from the word of God they’re not original to Ford he got them from the word but he’s the one that presented them I want to acknowledge him for coming up with that and that’s where I first heard these specific 6 steps but I believe these will really bless you and help you when you recognize ok I’ve offended somebody I need to make an apology number one acknowledge the offense don’t say if I hurt you if I offended you own it own the offense and acknowledge it say I recognize I offended you I realize I hurt you so I realize I violated our relational covenant with one another or I’ve offended you so acknowledge it take responsibility for it step number two say I now understand that I was wrong I didn’t understand it before so acknowledge wrongness on your part that will set the other person’s heart at ease because what everybody wants to know when they’re offended is do you know that you did something wrong to hurt me so acknowledge yes yes I know I was wrong step number three say I’m so sorry for taking your value or dishonoring you as a person express regret for what caused the offense the other thing the person wants to know the offended person is do you care that you hurt me let them know very clearly it grieves me to know that I hurt you so that’s the third step is tell them I’m very very sorry for wounding you the way that I did step number four you want to ask a question that elicits a response and the question is will you forgive me when you ask that question it brings closure not I want to ask you to forgive me or to say I apologize because there’s no answer it’s like ok but when you say will you forgive me it elicits a response they have to say yes or no it brings closure to it so that’s the fourth step ask a question most people quit there here are two others that my friend Ford Taylor shares and I think these are very very important number five ask for accountability say I really want to use my best efforts not to offend you again I give you permission to share with me if I hurt you again would you tell me if I offend you and wound you again maybe it’s a blind spot for me maybe I don’t see it so would you please hold me accountable that if I offend you again you’ll tell me and usually people will be very glad and you’ll help eliminate your own blind spots by doing that and step number six is a more dangerous one but really critical is there anything else that I have done that you would like to tell me and then follow the same process again if they bring something up you go back acknowledge it repent, ask forgiveness the same steps we just talked about why do you want to do that because you want to reconcile a relationship let’s get everything out in the open if there’s five different things that I’ve offended you in and we’ve never dealt with them please tell me all five don’t tell me three and leave two of them for later let’s get it all out in the open because the Bible says reconcile with your brother so I want to be completely reconciled please tell me everything let’s deal with it all because I really want to deal with blind areas it’s not my desire to offend and wound you please tell me everything else that I might repent if you do that you’ll just have such powerful powerful reconciliation times people that were your enemies will become some of your best friends they’ll be your allies they’ll be for you if you’ll follow this process so the question today is is God bringing someone to your mind that you’ve offended that you know has ought against you or feels wounded or hurt someone you’ve never reconciled the relationship with if so would you commit in your heart today to go to see that person and reconcile with them at the earliest opportunity or if it’s someone that lives long distance away you can do it by phone or Skype or one of the online services that you could communicate long distance with that person but would you commit to do that today if you reconcile those relationships and do what Yeshua encourages us to do here reconcile relationships you’ll become a blesser of people and you’ll be shocked at how much favor God gives you everywhere and you’ll also eliminate your own blind spots because people will tell you if you’re open to receiving the knowledge that you’ve offended somebody and a willingness to repent and make it right so God Bless You may you walk in completely reconciled relationships today


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